Ferrante fever hits the States (again)

Nov 08, 2018 252

BY: Alice Fischetti

Across the Atlantic, far from their supposed site of conception, Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels rank amongst the best-received Italian literary series authored by a woman—or rather, a pseudonymous author presumed to be female. The four-book series, centered on the impassioned friendship between two girls coming of age in an impoverished Naples, has generated as much “Ferrante Fever” among American readers as it has polemics surrounding the author’s anonymity. Now, four years after the publication of the final tale, Ferrante’s voice witnesses its on-screen translation as an eight-episode adaptation of the first book, My Brilliant Friend, with official HBO launch (in the U.S.) set for November 18.

A portrait of postwar Italy in the 1950s, the series traverses themes of ignorance, masculinity, the complexity of female friendship and rigid socio-economic barriers, vividly recounting six decades of ties between protagonists Elena Greco and Raffaella Cerullo. Having been translated into 40 languages and sold over five million copies worldwide, Ferrante’s story is captivating, convincing and most importantly, one worth telling; the buzz around Saverio Costanzo’s onscreen adaptation (which debuted to high praise at the Venice Film Festival) has revived a dialogue around the story’s reception in Italy versus abroad.

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SOURCE: http://www.theflorentine.net/

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